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Royal International Air Tattoo 2016 Review

Photographs




photo by Webmaster
Turkish F-16C
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Hellenic F-16C
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Super Hornet
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Polish MiG-29
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Polish F-16C
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Polish F-16C
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Polish F-16C
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Belgian F-16A
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Spanish Typhoon
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Spanish Typhoon
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Hellenic F-16C
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Hellenic F-16C
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RAF Typhoon
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F-22A Raptor
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Mirage 2000N
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USAF F-35A
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F-22A Raptor
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F-22A Raptor
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F-22A Raptor
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RAF F-35B
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USAF F-35A
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USAF F-35A
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RAF F-35B
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USAF F-35A
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RAF F-35B
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RAF F-35B
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USAF F-35A
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RAF F-35B
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USAF F-35A
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French Rafale
photo by Nigel Key
Mirage 2000N
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P-8 Poseidon
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RAF F-35B
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French Rafale
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Polish MiG-29
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RAF F-35B
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Red Arrow
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RAF Typhoon
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F-22A Raptor
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RAF F-35B


































Airshow Photographs

RAF F-35B Lightning II - photo by Webmaster

Royal Air Force F-35B Lightning II

Royal International Air Tattoo 2016 Review

The Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) at RAF Fairford attracted around 153,000 people to the show during Friday 8th to Sunday 10th July 2016. There were more than 230 aircraft from 37 air arms representing 24 countries that took part. The Air Tattoo is a ticket only event and all tickets had been sold out by the time that the show took place.

The main flying displays were on Saturday and Sunday with each day having about eight hours of flying display acts (10am to 6pm). Friday had a smaller four hour display (11am to 3pm). Next year's Air Tattoo may feature a full day's flying display on the Friday but this has yet to be decided.

As usual there were plenty of activities on the ground for the whole family to enjoy. These included the Techno Zone, the Adrenalin Zone, Autodrome, the Vintage Village, and the Royal Air Force Village. There were three 'Service Stations' around the base, in each coloured zone, which included facilities such as food & drink outlets, picnic benches, toilets, mobile phone charging, free wifi, cash point, Air Tattoo merchandise, and a covered area. There were also plenty of stalls selling various aviation related products, and of course all the military aircraft from around the world, on static display, to view and photograph.

The main theme this year was 'The Next Generation: Inspiring Innovation', and also celebrating the '75th anniversary of the Air Cadet Organisation'.

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RAF F-35B
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RAF F-35B
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RAF F-35B
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RAF F-35B
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F-35B Typhoons Reds
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USAF F-35A
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F-35A & Mustang
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USAF F-35A
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USAF F-35A
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USAF F-35A

This year we saw the international display debut of the RAF F-35B Lightning II aircraft at the Air Tattoo. We also saw the United States Air Force F-35A Lightning II aircraft in the flying display and taking part in a special US Air Force Heritage Flight which included the F-22A Raptor and P-51D Mustang 'Miss Helen'.

Six Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II aircraft arrived at RAF Fairford, at the end of June, to take part in the Royal International Air Tattoo. These aircraft included two United States Marine Corps F-35B aircraft, one Royal Air Force F-35B, and three United States F-35A aircraft. More information on the arrival of the F-35s to RAF Fairford can be found by clicking on the following link: Six Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II aircraft deploy to the UK.

The Royal Air Force F-35B Lightning II is a short-take off and vertical-landing (STOVL) variant while the F-35A variant is a conventional take-off and landing aircraft. The F-35B aircraft will be operated jointly by the Royal Air Force and the Royal Navy. It will operate from RAF Marham in Norfolk or from one of the UK's new Queen Elizabeth aircraft carriers in the near future. The fifth-generation F-35 Lightning II is a single-seat, single-engine, all-weather, stealth, multi-role combat aircraft.

The RAF F-35B Lightning II, flown by Squadron Leader Hugh Nichols, took part in the flying display and showed off it hover and vertical landing ability. It also took part in a flypast with the Red Arrows and two RAF Typhoons.

photo by Webmaster
Polish F-16C
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Hellenic F-16C
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Belgian F-16A
photo by Webmaster
Turkish F-16C
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Spanish Typhoon
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Italian Typhoon
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BAE Typhoon
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Polish MiG-29
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Swedish Gripen
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French Rafale

It was great to see so many fighter jets taking part at RIAT 2016, they included four General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcons: Polish F-16C, Hellenic F-16C, Belgian F-16A, and Turkish F-16C (Soloturk). There were also four Eurofighter Typhoons: Spanish Typhoon, Italian Typhoon, RAF Typhoon, and a BAE Systems Typhoon. Other fighter jets included the: Polish MiG-29A, Swedish JAS 39 Gripen, French Rafale C, two French Mirage 2000Ns (Ramex Delta), Boeing F/A-18F Super Hornet, USAF F-22A Raptor, and the previously mentioned F-35 Lightning II aircraft.

On Sunday, due to low cloud at the start of the flying display, there were unfortunately a couple of jets that were not allowed to display and these included the excellent Turkish F-16C (Soloturk), and the RAF Typhoon. Thankfully the clouds lifted and the rest of the display was able to take place. On the same day, the F-22A Raptor had to cut short his display due to a problem although he was able to later fly out to display at Duxford's Flying Legends and then land back at RAF Fairford. This meant that the F-22 Raptor was also unable to take part in the US Air Force Heritage Flight on Sunday.

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French Rafale
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Mirage 2000N
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Mirage 2000Ns
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Super Hornet
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F-22A Raptor

Awards went to Capitaine Jean-Guillaume Martinez for his French Air Force Rafale C display which won the Paul Bowen Trophy for the best jet demonstration, and it was well deserved with a superb performance. The Sir Douglas Bader Trophy for best individual flying display went to Captain Peter Fallen of the Swedish Air Force in the JAS 39C Gripen. The RAFCTE Trophy for best flying demonstration by an overseas participant went to the French Air Force Ramex Delta team comprising two Mirage 2000N nuclear strike aircraft. Ramex Delta also won the best livery as voted for by the Friends of the Royal International Air Tattoo with one of their aircraft in the marking the '100th anniversary of Escadrille La Fayette'. It has been announced that 2016 will be the final season for Ramex Delta so it was good to see them getting an award.

The Steedman Display Sword for best flying demonstration by a UK participant went to BAE Systems test pilot Nat Makepeace in his Typhoon FGR4, which displayed with a full underwing weapons load. The 'As The Crow Flies trophy', for best overall flying demonstration as judged by members of FRIAT went to Major Dan 'Rock' Dickinson from the US Air Force Air Combat Command F-22 Raptor Demonstration Team. There was also a special presentation award to everyone involved in the debut Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II deployment to Britain, and their outstanding contribution to the show.

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Freece Tricolori
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Freece Tricolori
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Orlik Team
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Orlik Team
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Krila Oluje
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Krila Oluje
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Patrouille Suisse
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Jordanian Falcons
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Red Arrows
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Red Arrow

There were also several Display Teams taking part in the flying display including the Italian Freece Tricolori with their ten Aermacchi AT-339A aircraft, the Polish Orlik Aerobatic Team with their seven PZL-130TC-II Turbo Orliks, the Croatian Krila Oluje with their six Pilatus PC-9Ms, the Swiss Patrouille Suisse with their five Northdrop F-5E Tiger IIs, the Royal Jordanian Falcons with their four Extra EA300Ls, and of course the RAF Red Arrows in their nine BAE Hawk T1/T1A aircraft.

This was the first time that the Croatian display team 'Krila Oluje' (Wings of Storm) had displayed at a British air show and they won the King Hussein Memorial Sword for the best overall flying demonstration at RIAT 2016. The award was for "Precision aerobatics in challenging conditions incorporating novel manoeuvres". Team leader Lt. Col. Damir Barisic said: "We are very happy to be among all these friends, all these people who share the same passion for 'old-school' flying in these days when everything is becoming unmanned and automatic. Of course it's a big honour to receive such an award, especially on the first occasion we've been here."

The 'Krila Oluje' team later wrote to RIAT thanking them for being so friendly, helpful and supportive. They also said "When you gave us King Hussein Sword award you started domino effect in Croatia. We are everywhere, TV news, newspapers, we got two MiG-21 QRA escort from national border to Zagreb airport, there were Minister of Defense, Chief of Defense, Air Force COM, 3 ex AF COM, 30 media representatives, complete madness! Thank you very much for the award, it will always have a very special place in our team history."

On Sunday, the Swiss Patrouille Suisse display was affected by low cloud which meant they were unable to take-off and perform their usual display. Instead they taxied up and down the runway in formation and even used their smoke, while we listened to their enthusiastic commentary.

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Red Arrows
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Wingwalkers
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Wingwalkers
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Wingwalkers
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Aude Lemordant

The Breitling Wingwalkers displayed with three Boeing Stearman A75N1 aircraft and shared their display slot with Aude Lemordant in her Extra EA330SC aircraft, a young French woman who is both the reigning aerobatics world champion and an accomplished airline pilot.

There were several helicopter displays including the always impressive RAF Chinook HC4 display which is crewed by 18 and 27 Squadrons, based at RAF Odiham. Also displaying was the Black Cats from 825 Naval Air Station based at RNAS Yeovilton, in their two AgustaWestland Wildcat HMA2s. The new Wildcat helicopter replaces the Lynx helicopter in Royal Navy and British Army service.

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RAF Chinook
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RAF Chinook
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Black Cats
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Dutch Apache
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German Bo 105
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Dutch Apache
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Dutch Apache
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Black Cats
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Black Cats
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RAF Chinook

The Royal Netherlands Air Force displayed their AH-64D Apache helicopter which is from 301 Squadron of the Defence Helicopter Command, and is stationed at Gilze-Rijen Air Base. The German Army put on a display with their Messerschmitt-Bolkow-Blohm Bo 105P1 helicopter. The Bo 105 was acquired by the German Army as an anti-tank and observation helicopter but the more modern Eurocopter Tiger has taken over as the German Army's front-line attack platform, and the Bo 105 is used on communications and liaison duties, as well as in the training role.

The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (BBMF) displayed a Supermarine Spitfire Mk.IIa (P7350), and a Hawker Hurricane IIc (LF363). This particular Spitfire is the oldest airworthy Spitfire in the world, and the only Spitfire still flying to have actually fought in the Battle of Britain. The Hurricane (LF363) first flew in January 1944, and is believed to be the last Hurricane to enter service with the Royal Air Force and was used on shipping protection patrols off the east coast of Scotland, and it flew naval artillery spotting and reconnaissance sorties before the end of the War.

Nooky Booky - photo by Webmaster
BBMF Spitfire
Miss Velma - photo by Webmaster
BBMF Hurricane
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CV-22B Osprey
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CV-22B Osprey
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CV-22B Osprey
Nooky Booky - photo by Webmaster
CV-22B Osprey
Miss Velma - photo by Webmaster
A400M
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A400M
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A400M
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CV-22B Osprey

The United States Air Force displayed their Bell Boeing CV-22B Osprey multi-mission, tiltrotor military aircraft. This impressive aircraft can take-off and land like a helicopter with its rotors in the vertical position, or fly at speed like a turboprop aircraft with the rotors in a horizontal position. This particular aircraft is based at RAF Mildenhall in Suffolk, and is operated by the 7th Special Operations Squadron. They are used to deploy or extract troops from hostile, sensitive, or otherwise undesirable locations. Their mission is to provide long-range infiltration, exfiltration and resupply of non conventional special operation forces.

The Airbus A400M put on an impressive display for such a large transport aircraft. The A400M 'Atlas' is coming into service with the Royal Air Force, replacing the C-130K Hercules. The A400M can carry a maximum payload of 37 tonnes or 116 fully equipped troops over long distances. The RAF will receive at least twenty two of these aircraft, they received their first A400M in November 2014 and currently have eight aircraft.
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Alpha jet
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Tornado
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Australian KC-30A
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Phantom
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Typhoon

More photographs of the aircraft in the static display can be found by clicking here.


The Royal International Air Tattoo is held in support of the Royal Air Force Charitable Trust. The money raised is used to support Royal Air Force personnel, both regular and reservists, and also to encourage young people to develop an interest in aviation and aerospace.

Thanks to the efforts of the organisers for putting on such a superb display this year, and the dates for next year's Royal International Air Tattoo are the 14th-16th July 2017. Next year's RIAT theme will be the 'U.S. Air Force 70th Anniversary'.

               Article and photographs by Dave Key - www.militaryairshows.co.uk


More RIAT 2016 photos (Phil Catleugh).

Trophy Winners Press Release.

RIAT 2016 Checklist.

RIAT page.

Official RIAT website.